Kenya Trip in November

Reply

Oct 3rd, 2013, 10:32 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 34
Kenya Trip in November

Hi everyone - seeking some advice (read: reassurance) from anyone who has just returned from Kenya after the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.

Our group is scheduled to visit all the usual tourist spots, Lakes Nakuru and Naivasha, Amboselli, Samburu, Mt Kenya, Masai Mara, etc while we're there. We're not planning on being in Nairobi other than to fly in and out.
What's the mood? Did you feel safe, especially at the camps in locations mentioned above?
Can anyone offer any feedback? The group is a little weary at this point.
Many thanks.
freedom2011 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2013, 10:35 AM
  #2
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 34
As an addendum to the above, we have friends that have lived just outside Nairobi for about 10 years and maintain that we should feel safe there. Just wanted to check with recent travelers. Any suggestions?
freedom2011 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2013, 01:48 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Freedom2011,

I just returned from Nairobi on 22 September. I was in Nairobi the day of the massacre but was staying on the grounds of the Fairview Hotel.

I felt very safe although people were distressed about the incident. People came together and were giving blood donations for the victims. My friend was in the hospital for an unrelated issue and it was amazing to see how many people were checking in with the hospital to see what they could do to help.

Kenya needs your tourism business. Please don't let the terrorists (aka as cowards) win!

Thanks.
one2travel2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 4th, 2013, 05:56 PM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 34
Thanks for your reply one2travel2 - we are likeminded in that we would love to see the sites that Kenya has to offer, and know how much Kenya needs tourism revenue, but are becoming increasingly concerned about the level of violence there and the govt warnings. Still up in the air about going.
freedom2011 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 5th, 2013, 07:35 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 711
Freedom2011--Kenya needing revenue should have absolutely nothing to do with your decision. If you feel nervous and uncomfortable about the trip, then cancel. It is about how YOU feel, not what Kenya needs A trip where you are concerned and worried the entire time is not a trip you should be on. However, if the assurances of other Fodors members who are frequent travelers gives you the confidence you need and erase your concerns, then by all means go. Terrorism can occur anywhere, so any decision to travel requires due diligence relative to personal safety. Kenya isn't going anywhere and you can see it now or later, and there are many other places to go in Africa that have equally great sites.

Again, it is how your gut feels. That is what will make or break your trip. Nothing else.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 5th, 2013, 10:16 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 34
Thanks for your feedback, BostonHarbor.
I must admit to feeling guilty about 'caving' to the terrorist threat and depriving Kenyons of our tourist dollars. But the latter to a much lesser degree. I am mostly ticked off because this trip has been in the works for sometime now and I would like to go, but not understand these conditions. The bloom is off the rose, so to speak. Thanks again for your perspective.
freedom2011 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 5th, 2013, 11:20 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Freedom2011 - well BostonHarbor is correct, but somewhere I seem to remember
- a terrorist bombing at the Boston marathon
- a crazy person shooting up a Navy installation in Wash DC
- an unstable women driving/scarying the heck out of visitors, also in Wash DC
- a theatre shoot-up in Aurora CO
- a school slaughter in Newtown CT

honestly, is anyplace safe against those who might be up to no good.

But for a small area around the Westgate Mall where the attacks took place, and where few visitors stop or are anywhere near... the rest of Nairobi is back to being a large cosmopolitan city, lots of traffic and noise, where life goes on.
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 5th, 2013, 11:56 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 711
Sandi, What I said is that freedom2011 doesn't "owe" Kenya anything and if one feels uncomfortable about traveling somewhere because the US has issued a travel warning (or any other reason), they should cancel--I don't care where in the world it is. Life's too short to be on a trip where you are nervous. That's all ail I said--no more no less.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 6th, 2013, 07:20 AM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 34
Thanks BostonHarbor, Sandi and One2travel2 for your perspectives.
Agreed that terrorism can (and does) happen close to home as well as in far off places.
However, as a group we've decided to postpone our trip as all the current information coming to us from intelligence sources indicate that these attacks will likely ramp up before things will calm down in Kenya. There will always be a part of us that will sincerely regret this decision, but we have to go with what our hearts and heads are telling us to do.
freedom2011 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 6th, 2013, 10:15 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
... of course freedom2011 doesn't 'owe' Kenya or any other destination anything and one's own comfort level determines their decision.

However, the US has been issuing and reissuing, every 6-9/months the same 'warning' since the '98 embassy bombings. At no time were any of these a 'do not travel.' And with the same 'warning' being reissued year-in/out, you'd think visitors would never travel here. Yet, Kenya saw in excess of 1/million tourists last year (Americans, Brits, Aussies, Asians, others).
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 26th, 2013, 07:26 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 35
It's misleading to suggest that another attack in kenya is imminent simply because an attack has taken place and offer that as basis for not traveling 300 plus miles away from where the Westgate attack toon place a month ago.
Since 1998, kenya has been under 'travel advisory' more time THAN out of them. In fact the US never lifts a travel advisory once it issues it against kenya. There has been zero times that State Dept. says 'it's now safe to travel to kenya' just as they never issue travel advisories into New York, Boston, Colorado, Arizona, Virginia or DC.
I was on the first flights into US right after the horrible 9-11 attacks.
My sister travelled from Lake Nakuru to Mt. kenya on the day of the Westgate attack right through Westlands and drove back to the Rift Valley on the day the place was burning-right by it.
The only thing we need to fear is fear itself.
georgennganga is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 27th, 2013, 11:50 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 28
Freedom 2011 I am in Kenya today at the tail end of a 2 week trip that included Kenya and Rwanda Safaris.

There is some increased security in Nairobi and the traffic jams are worse than usual. However, I would say the being out in the bush is more secure than anywhere else I can think of.

The sad thing is that so many people just decide to opt out and that is simply what the terrorism is trying to do - terrorise people and impact the economy. Kenya and its wildlife needs people to visit.

I planned my safari in Kenya and Rwanda with Gamewatchers and if you are in Nairobi just to make flight connections a great way to start/ end a safari is Nairobi Tented Camp - no security risk here!! See http://www.nairobitentedcamp.com/ ("Deep within a riverine forest minutes from Jomo Kenyatta Airport, Wilson Airport and Nairobi City is a true wilderness experience. Visitors can arrive into Kenya and get ‘straight under canvas’ within 30 minutes of leaving the airport. Nairobi Tented Camp is an authentic tented camp in the heart of Nairobi National Park.)

I was picked up from Nairobi airport in the morning and avoided the mad traffic jams into Nairobi. The previous week I was working in Nairobi and it took me almost two hours from the airport to my hotel. You can exit the park from a gate that is quite close to Wilson Airport (from where most fly in safaris start).

The camp itself was excellent - up to the usual Porini standard. This is a great chance to see White and Black Rhino which you are unlikely to see in the Mara although I see you are going to Nakuru where you should see plenty of rhino.

This was my first trip to the Nairobi Tented Camp as I usually head straight out of Nairobi but I will definitely do it again! Why stay in a city hotel unless you have to!
Peshf is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 28th, 2013, 11:31 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 28
Freedom 2011 - Further to my last post. I am working in Nairobi this week and my favourite Nairobi Hotel (the Fairview) is packed. I think, most people recognise that terrorism happens anywhere.

I see that that the US has reissued its long standing travel advisory - I live in London and don't recollect travel advisories following the London multiple suicide bombings in 2005. I also travelled to the US soon after 9/11 and I don't think there were travel advisories then either.

If it really concerns you stay away from Nairobi and Mombasa and parts of the coast - but honestly I reckon a safari camp is one of the safest places with regard to terrorists. As I said there have been terrorist attacks in most big cities around the world but I do not recall any in a safari camp!

I spent a magical weekend at the Porini Lion Camp in the Olarok Motorogi Conservancy adjoining the Maasai Mara National Reserve. It was the official opening of Sir Richard Branson's new special edition safari camp. His camp is in the same conservancy and he was driving around in an open safari vehicle as was the minister for tourism. No security in sight.

The Kenyan president also flew in on his birthday. I reckon if its safe for all these folk it must be safe for tourists.

Make your mind up - its still not too late to go and the wildlife is teeming!

You will have a great time. I did!
Peshf is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 29th, 2013, 09:12 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
I can just see Sir Richard driving around proud of his new camp (I own it, I own it), though personally the tents are simply too close to one another.
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:20 PM.